Northampton Press

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fireworks amendment approved for Lehigh Twp.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

At the Aug. 8 Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors meeting, Solicitor David Backenstoe said the amendment to the fireworks ordinance discussed in July has been tightened up with care taken to keep it from being unfair to users.

The ordinance now states a state-licensed operator must be on hand and have the paperwork in his possession. The cutoff will be 10 p.m., except for approved special events and national holidays. A $1 million bond is required, a stipulation in the original ordinance.

Supervisor Darryl Snover asked if the state would pre-empt the local ordinance. Backenstoe said they were talking about local events, not businesses.

In other business, supervisors were told an amendment to the subdivision and land development ordinance has a misstatement in the municipalities planning code. A letter is necessary after Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) receives a plan and reviews it, but it remains advisory. A resident complained that the review takes a long time, but Backenstoe said LVPC is quick to review plans and will speed up the process if a reason for it being necessary is given.

Central Booking was on the county council agenda. Sometimes the money ordered in court costs is not paid. The municipalities in which the booking facility is located have to make up the difference. Backenstoe said the collections are judicial, and they need to understand they are necessary to run the facilities. There were 225 cases, and not all was collected.

If the judge waives a fee, the amount should come from the county and not the municipality. Costs to this point were $10,680 for 2017. Backenstoe said education was needed. Supervisor Cindy Miller said she would talk to the county and give them the numbers.

In other news, Engineer Phil Malitsch said there is a safety issue with water ponding on the streets at Hills of Greenock. The sedimentation ponds can be filled in. It was recommended the board bid the work. Excess material has been stockpiled and will be used for the purpose.

A minor subdivision at 4519 Laurel Drive received conditional approval, with the conditions being to meet all requirements in Hanover Engineering’s letter. There were also deferrals that can be called in at any time.

Also at the meeting, Miller said she did not like the back-and-forth discussion about recreation and suggested a meeting be held between the recreation board and supervisors. She asked what is being done with the parks and what their potential is. Pennsville Park seems to be more family oriented, she said, adding perhaps the recreation commission could come up with more community events.

Snover said there does seem to be a misunderstanding. A meeting could be held before or after the regular supervisors meeting. Backenstoe said it would be an open discourse.

Miller said a tech plan is required for the police, public works and township administration. Though some townships have an outside person, including Lehigh, township Manager Alice Rehrig said he does not know enough about how the systems should work together. Rehrig said a plan would do more than what is being done presently.

The police report included 120 citations in July. An aggressive driving program is in place until the end of August. The National Night Out program was “wonderful beyond our expectations,” it was mentioned. Snover said he hopes to see it again next year.

Snover asked how a citizen can report an aggressive driver. People should try to get a license number and call 911, it was suggested.

Miller said Northampton County is starting to look at blighted properties. She will get a manual. Backenstoe said he thinks the way the township has been handling blighted properties is best.

Mike Jones, softball director for Lehigh Township Athletic Association, thanked the supervisors for everything they do for recreation.